Thursday, December 31, 2009

More Uncheese Fun and NEW COOKBOOKS!

I finally got to taste the Buffalo Mostarella uncheese from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. Popeye's sister H and her partner M joined us for dinner (after a long ride on the 112 - they live in St kilda - it takes close to an hour!).

We had a few drinks (wild turkey and coke - mmm) while we waited for the pizzas to cook. So, guess what? Photos forgotten!! There was left overs this morning, and although it is not the same, I have taken a photo of them.

Shitty photo. So shoot me. Anyway, my pizza is loaded with caramelised onions, sweet potato, roasted capsicum, mushrooms, baby spinach, and Mosterella (others had semi dried tomatoes, but I'm not a fan. Nor am I a fan of hot pineapple, which they also had - so clearly this was NOT my pizza). The Mosteralla was REALLY yummy! The only downfall was that is makes quite a bit, and although all 7 of us had large clumps of it all over our pizzas, there is still a shit load left. Now I'll need to find something else to eat it with (darn).

Yesterday we headed into the city. We stopped at the casino to watch the christmas display (which was really good!) before heading to Borders to return a couple of books that Popeye had given me for christmas. I had casually mentioned to him that the reason I turned vegan was the book Skinny Bitch and that I had lent it to a colleague last year who never returned it (it would have been ok if she had turned vegan and kept it, but alas, no). So he LISTENED (wow) and bought it for me for christmas. Except that he got me Skinny Bitchin', which is like a blank journal with little motivational quotes throughout. I'm not much of a journal writer - I'd get excited for a few days and write lots, then put it down and never pick it up again! He also gave me a tapas cookbook, but after looking through it, I found that there would not be much I would make as a lot of it seemed unadaptable, with meat as a focus. I told him that I didn't think I would ever use it and could we change that too (I only suggested it AFTER he said I could swap whatever I wanted. I am not an ungrateful gift receiver).

So I swapped the books for Skinny Bitch (which is the one Popeye wanted to get me)

and Vegan Planet (because as you know I love her other book!).

I was really after one of Ani Phyo's raw cookbooks (does anyone have it they could lend to me?) but Borders really only had 2 raw cookbooks and they both seemed overpriced and crap. I was well over budget (as VP was $50 at Borders, yet only $36 at Readers Feast) but Popeye loves me and paid the extra anyway. I was struggling to find anything else I wanted at this book store. I've since found (from Miss T's blog) that Dymocks on Collins is THE ONE to go to for vegan cookbooks (like I need more vegan cookbooks). I also like Reader's Feast, but they had no raw cookbooks. I was determined to only buy Ani's cookbook at Reader's Feast if they had it but walked out of there with


Naughty, naughty.

I REALLY wanted a raw book because one of my NY resolutions is to include a raw food day into our diets next year (more on that and other NY resolutions later). I'll have to rely on Google for a while, gosh darn it.

When Popeye's sister came over she brought cupcakes. I also forgot to take photos of those but they were delish! H is planning on transitioning to veganism (from vegetarianism) next year and she has a new love for VCTOTW. She brought VCTOTW and The Voluptuous Vegan with her for me to peruse (so much to read/try/eat, so little time!). Popeye bought a copy of 1000 Vegan Recipes for her yesterday also and she was a tad pleased!

So I have 5 new-to-me cookbooks waiting for me to get stuck into. Which one do I start with first?


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Uncheese fun and a Pot Luck Picnic

Yesterday I mentioned that I had made some cheeze from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook that I borrowed from my friends A & C.

I made two different lots, a colby uncheese and a mozzarella type uncheese (laziness prevents me from telling you the exact name of the recipe - I'm in bed and I'm not moving, not even for you!).

We have only tried the colby, we had it on grilled toasties for breakfast. It looked like this when I took it out of its container this morning:

And then like this after a stint under the grill:

I smooshed one to see if the different texture mattered. Turns out it didn't! To me, anyway! Baby preferred it smooshed, but she wasn't keen on the plain tomato sauce without cheeze. The kids wanted tomato sauce under their cheeze, Popeye had his plain, and I had good old vegemite.

It was really good! Then we had a slice or two in our sndwiches for lunch today. Mmmmm. Popeye said it tasted like American Cheese, but since I have never tasted American Cheese before I'll take his word for it! I really liked it. The cheeze lasts 5-7 days in the fridge and is really easy to make. I'm thinking that I will make it on a Sunday night so we can have it during the week for lunches. The cook book gives many variations of this cheeze to try, so we are going to try them all and see which we like best.

The mozz is for pizza, which I am planning to have tomorrow night. So I'll tell you about it then.

I attended a really fun potluck at the park tonight. There was so much yummy food! And really great company! I didn't take any photos, except of my own before I left. I took:

Roasted Capsicum Wraps (which went a bit softer than I expected, but in a yummy way) from The Vegan Table

A Fruit Platter

Chocolate Banana Bread (which also has walnuts in it and it rocks) from 1000 Vegan Recipes

I'll link to the other great blogs when the photos go up (and I'm getting tired and even more lazy).

Thanks for the invite guys, we had a great night (the kids didn't even want to leave!!).


Monday, December 28, 2009

Good news!

I have good news!

But you can wait til the end of the post! (It's only short, I promise!)

A while back my friends A & C gave me a heap of different animal/vegan supporting pamphlets/postcards/stickers/leaflets/business type cards to letterbox drop around the area. Today the kids and I took a couple of handfuls around the local area and the kids had a ball putting them into letterboxes as we walked to the shop.

We headed to the shop because I wanted to get onion powder and some more mustard to make some uncheese from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. They are in the fridge and you'll have to wait until tomorrow's post. They tasted great freshly made, so I am looking forward to trying them tomorrow (I've got uncheese toasties and pizza planned for tomorrow!).

Ok, my good news (I told you my post was short today!).
So most of you would know that I was planning on moving to Hastings with Popeye VERY soon. The truck had been booked for Monday the 4th of January. The real estate had been notified and was due to take photos of my place to put on the internet for rent.

Did you notice I 'spoke' in past tense??

That's right!!! I'M NOT MOVING!!!!!!

I'm so happy! We decided that it was not fair to move four of us (me and the kids) to one person (Popeye). There were so many pros to staying here as opposed to the pros of moving to Hastings (they outnumbered about 20 to 2!) that we really could not justify moving. Popeye is going to move here, and try and come home more than just on weekends.

There is so much to say about the topic, but I won't bore you. Except to say I'M NOT MOVING!!!!!!
I am so happy here - I heart Preston. I heart my house. I heart Popeye!

Tomorrow we am going to try and make it to the pot luck that Kristy invited us to (see, another reason not to move to whoop whoop!). I'm looking forward to it. Now, off to work out what to bring...


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Chocolate-Macadamia Cheezcake Truffles

Yesterday Kristy commented on the truffles I made for christmas and I thought I should share the recipe with you instead of searching the internet - I know this one is good! (you never know with some of the recipes on the internet!)

Chocolate-Macadamia Cheezcake Truffles from the fantastic cookbook, 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson

2C vegan semisweet chocolate chips (I used Sweet William)
1 container vegan cream cheese
2C confectioners' sugar
2T pure vanilla extract
1C ground macadamia nuts (I also used crushed nuts, or anything else you wanted to roll the truffles in)

Melt the chocolate chips.
In a food processor, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla and process until well mixed. Add the melted chocolate and blend until well mixed. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours (I did this overnight).
Roll the chilled mixture into 1-inch balls and place them on an ungreased baking sheet.
Roll the balls in the macadamias (or whatever you like), turning to coat. Transfer truffles to a serving platter, refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers (not that there will be any!!!)



Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas, Christmas

Thank fuck that's over!

Seriously! Popeye and I decided last night that we would not be attending a family gathering next year. We will try to save our pennies, buy no presents (except santa, of course- but I can't control what the big fella brings the kids!) and hopefully go overseas for christmas - to somewhere that doesn't celebrate it like we do here in Oz. Maybe Cambodia (a suggestion from my sister).

I don't know why I get sucked in every year. I'll blame it on the kids. How can you not get sucked in when you have kids? I'm not even religious. In any way. I'm not even christened (neither are my kids FYI).

Wow, I'm really venting here. Despite lots of reasons to vent today, only one I will make public (and the rest I will hold unhealthily inside!).

We went to Popeye's Mum's today for lunch. Sitting at the table, YM said 'What's that?' and pointed to some sliced meat.

I said, 'Well, that's a dead pig and'

I got cut off by R, Popeye's (step) Dad who angrily said, 'Let's just say what it really is. That is ham and that is turkey.'

I said, ' I think I did just say what it really was.'

And that was about all he said to me all afternoon.

It made me so annoyed. I may sound mental I know, getting worked up over nothing, but I get annoyed when people want to cover up the truth. And I was speaking to my son. I wanted him to know what poor animal had suffered and unknowingly given its life to feed people who turn a blind eye (or whatever reason they choose to give for their omni status).

Ok, enough. Breathe. Ahh, better.

Despite my username as Seitahn, I have actually never tried, let alone cooked seitan before. So what a time to try it! Thankfully it turned out fantastic.

I made a Stuffed Seitan Roast (from 1000 Vegan Recipes) and it was surprisingly simple. I was a bit skeptical before putting it in the oven as it looked like a giant turd!

But it looked fabulous when it was carved and tasted great. I made a Basic Brown Sauce (1000 Vegan Recipes) to go over the top.

I also tried another recipe from 1000 Vegan Recipes that I had never done before (shows how much faith I have in this cookbook! Making something untried on Christmas Day!).

Chocolate-Macadamia Cheezecake Truffles

Ok, so this was the last one, and this one I rolled in crushed nuts (the others were rolled in ground macadamia nuts) but MAN they were good!! (NOT good FOR you, mind you!). Little balls of heaven!

The kids had a great time today, and they really seemed to enjoy their gifts. They are just at the right age, too. They really showed their appreciation. It was lovely.

Hope you all had a fab xmas! Can't wait to read what you all got up to today!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Just For Fun

This is today's lunch.
We used the spiraliser to make a heap of curly fries, some plain and the other lot with paprika sprinkled on them. We also cooked the potato 'cores' which look like little mushrooms.

Just for fun.


Monday, December 21, 2009

The Man is Back

He's ho-me! Finally. And I am sure you can understand my absence on this blog! It is nice to be able to wake up, roll over and be able to cuddle something other than my pillow!

I flew to Sydney to watch his graduation parade. All very exciting! It was a two-part affair. The first part was the actual giving of their badges and promotions for those who were being promoted to the new rank. The second part was the parade, complete with marching band, to present themselves to some high-up official (sorry, couldn't take my eyes off my man to actually listen to the ceremony!).
Here is a photo at part of the parade. Popeye is third from the right, front row.

Ahh, men in uniform!

This is one of us after the whole thing was over, back in his rooming area. There are better ones of us, of course, although you know how much I hate photos of myself so this is the best you get!

I haven't really done too much noteworthy cooking since we have returned home (we drove home the following day). Except this...

Both of these are from 1000 Vegan Recipes (of course!). There is Quick Apple Crisp and Vegan Whipped Cream. Both were delicious! The 'Whipped Cream' I think is more like a pouring cream as opposed to whipped, but delicious nonetheless. It is a lot faster to make than the cashew creme, mostly because I only have a little spice grinder to make the cashews into a powder. The Whipped Cream is silken tofu, agave (or maple), vanilla, 1T canola oil. Very easy. The only time required is to refrigerate for a while before serving.

Now I need to get a definite idea of what I am making for christmas day and at least write up a shopping list!

What's everyone else making for Christmas Day?


Sunday, December 13, 2009

A taste of the RAW life

I have posted once before about my cool vege spiral machiney thing that I purchased at the World Vegan Day. Only that time when I made awesome vegetable curls, I forgot to take a photo of them. Here it is in action:

YM holding up a zucchini curl, while eating the left over 'core'.

Tweenie showing how long they can get.
The kids search through their food to try and find the longest curl!

This is our dinner (of raw zucchini, carrot and beetroot) before we added the sauce.
The sauce was a capsicum creamy sauce and it was delicious.

I got the recipe from I signed up for their newsletter and I got a link to a free e-book that was about 100 pages long and FULL of delicious looking raw foods. Well worth the 2 seconds it took to sign up! I will definitely be trying other recipes from the e-book.

Sweet Pepper Cream Sauce
By Mama Raw of the Raw Pleasure forums
2 large red capsicums, seeded & chopped 
1 clove garlic 
2 tablespoon olive oil 
1 tablespoons flax oil 
1⁄2 teaspoon marjoram 
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt 
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste 
1 cup cashews 
juice of 1⁄2 a lemon

1. Blend the first 7 ingredients to a liquid.
2. Add cashews and juice, then blend until smooth.
Serve at room temperature over spiralised zucchini. This can also be used as a dip or a salad dressing.

I bought myself a new blender on Friday (you may remember that Baby smashed mine to tiny little pieces the other week). I have been without a blender for about 2 weeks and it was killing me! I was missing my daily green smoothies! So I used the already over-extended credit card (it is christmas!) to buy me a new one. I don't know how long this $70 one will last but at 900w, it is much faster than the last blender. It really makes my smoothies smooth (as opposed to little green bits floating around). So I suppose Baby breaking the last one was a blessing in disguise (but I won't tell her that! - She is NOT allowed to touch this one!!)

I have a busy few days coming up. I've got to make cupcakes tomorrow for YM's birthday on Tuesday. He wants to take oreo cupcakes to school (27 kids, thanks very much!). YM's 9th birthday Tuesday. On Wednesday night I am flying to Sydney to see Popeye (I'm very excited! It's been 3 months!!). He is graduating from his course on Thursday. So on Wednesday I need to make 3 lots of school party foods (of COURSE they are all having end-of-year parties on the same day!). Two kids want Cindy and MIchael's sausage rolls, and one wants cupcakes. I also have chosen to pre-prepare Wednesday and Thursdays dinners for my babysitters (Popeye's sisters have kindly donated their time, so I will repay them by feeding them and making sure they don't have to do much except be there!). I still have a few christmas gifts to get, but especially Popeye's - I'm thinking a home brew kit. Thursday is Popeye's graduation parade (all those HOT navy men in their crisp white ceremonials uniform (especially mine - 3 months is a long time!). Then we are jumping in his car and driving back to Melbourne, while it is the last day of school for the kids. Not to mention a bit of personal grooming - waxing, tanning, toe nail painting (It HAS been three months, did I mention??) and all this adds up to 5 VERY busy days! Phew, I'm exhausted just from typing all that!

Better get some rest,


Friday, December 11, 2009

Cake, salad & (no) sausage rolls

After reading a post from the blog "Cooking From 1,000 Vegan Recipes" (I've found a bunch of vegans who love this book as much as I do!) about Sour Cream Coffee Cake, I was inspired to make it. The author  said 'I found THE BEST RECIPE in the entire book!' and I really wanted to try it for myself!

Doesn't it look yummy?!! The ripple is a mixture of walnuts, sugar and cinnamon. This cake was really nice, although I would not go as far as naming it the best recipe in the book. It is so full of sugar (2 whole cups!!) it's not funny. (Did I just say that?? I think my sweet tooth is starting to mature!). It's definitely delicious, but not one that I would probably make again (it is a bit fiddly, too.)

This morning I made a salad for the kids for school. I had made extra rice last night (we are eating freezer foods at the moment, trying to get rid of the bits in my freezer in preparation of 'the move') with the full intention of using the left over rice in a sweet rice dessert tonight but instead I used it to fill out this salad.

Really good! Even the kids' lunch boxes came home empty! I have decided that I DO like salad - but only if I make it! Then I know what is in it and what is not (especially celery - I HATE celery!) I know this salad looks/is simple - but remember that I don't like salads (ok, last time I say that! I DO like salads, I DO like salads) and I am only just learning!

Tonight I made vegan sausage rolls from Where's the Beef?. I have seen their sausage rolls mentioned a few times on local Melbourne blogs raving about them and seeing them again on Miss T's blog I decided I just MUST make them!
Even with the rave reviews, I must admit, after seeing the ingredients list I was still not convinced. Pecans? In sausage rolls? But I was determined to put my prejudices aside and have-a-go. Even after making the mix I was still skeptical. But, let me just say WOW.

You MUST try these!!!!! Every now and then I would get a little bite of a pecan nut. Pure pleasure! These are so good! They will definitely become part of my recipe file. We even enjoyed them cold! Give em a go.

I got a bit more christmas shopping done today. My mobile phone battery is almost dead so I purchased a supposedly unlocked cheapo phone today for $40 to stick my sim card in. But it doesn't work! So disappointed! I hope they give me a refund because I really couldn't afford the $40 (I had to pay my rego today too! It's actually due christmas eve - how shit is that!) especially after I made sure I asked them If all I had to do was stick in my sim card. :(
Not many gifts left to get. I REALLY need to find a pressie for Popeye, but I have NO idea! I hate buying gifts for blokes! Any ideas?


Monday, December 7, 2009

Caribbean Rice, Squash and Peas

I know we don't call them squash here in Australia, but that is the name of the recipe in the book (1000 Vegan Recipes). This is my first time actually using black-eyed peas ( I cooked my own, too!). It was basically B-EP's, pumpkin and rice so I didn't really expect too much from it. It was surprisingly really nice!

YM and I made some biscuits called Peachy Thumbprint Cookies although ours were Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies as we used strawberry jam. This were not too sweet and hardly used any fats (only 2T of margarine). It did have 1/2C of icing sugar, but that was about it for baddies. I was hoping to have some for the kids' lunches tomorrow, but unfortunately they are all gone!

We also made a couple more loaves of bread, as we ate the other one today and it was so good.

Yesterday's Pecan-Lentil Burgers (1000 Vegan Recipes)  were a big hit here. Here's the recipe:

 11/2C cooked brown lentils (I used 1 tin)(make sure they are really dry - dry fry them in a pan for a few minutes. It is, apparently, the key to firm burgers)
1/2C ground pecans
1/2C oats
1/4C dry unseasoned bread crumbs
1/4C Vital wheat gluten
1/2C onion, finely chopped
1/4C fresh parsley
1t dijon mustard
1/2t salt
1/8t pepper
2T olive oil
In a food processor combine all but the oil. Pulse to combine, leaving some texture. Shape the lentil mixture into 4 to 6 burgers. Heat oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.

That's for you Brisvegan :) Enjoy!

Well, I finally attacked my room today. Took me damn near ALL DAY! But it was worth it! I still have a laundry basket full of books and paperwork that I couldn't work out what to do with, but I'll get to that tomorrow. Only 3 more rooms to bog out (top to bottom, wall to wall.)

Maybe I'll get to one tomorrow.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Baking bread

Thinking about school lunches tomorrow, it suddenly dawned on me that I had no bread in the freezer. Hmm, I wonder if I should make my own. Surely my new favourite cookbook would have a recipe or 20 to cater for my needs in this area. The very first recipe in the breads section was the Basic White Bread.
It turned out like this:

and left an awesome smell throughout my house. Years ago I used to make my own bread with a bread maker, but never in my own oven. So good. The kids can have fresh bread with the left over burgers from tonight's dinner...

Pecan-Lentil Burgers and home made wedges. We covered the wedges in paprika and nutritional yeast. We made the burgers this shape because we put them into flat bread as a wrap.

We even had home-grown lettuce in it! Very nice.

I didn't even get close to cleaning my room today! After about 4 hours playing on the computer (and Tweenie feeding me blueberry pancakes for lunch) I decided that the kids and I would ride up to the Leisure Centre and go swimming. Then by the time we came home it was time to get ready for dinner and the rest. Way to procrastinate, eh?


Vegan Christmas Dinner

Last night we went to our first Vegan Christmas Dinner held by my good friends A & C in Frankston. I met a few other wonderful people there, who all had brought a vegan dish to share. One lovely couple are omnis, but absolutely love vegan/vegetarian food. Great food, amazing company!

I took the dishes I said I was going to - sushi, broccoli quiche, crunchy sesame slaw, apple tart with walnut crust and cashew creme. All of my food was well received, and thankfully too, as I had spent a few hours in the kitchen preparing it!

It was all scrumptious, but I so have to say there was a LOT of salad! (To my new wonderful friends - please don't be offended. I just feel there is more to vegan food than salads.)

I had some great conversations about all sorts of topics. I even found some people who LOVE board games as much as I do!!! Now I am looking forward to the move to Hastings, for the chance to have board game nights! The game lovers all live in the SE suburbs.

During my cooking session yesterday I had time to make an awesome smoothie. I had some avocados left that desperately needed to be eaten (or into the bin they would have had to go!). I made Indonesian Avocado Smoothie from, do I need to say it, 1000 Vegan Recipes.

All I can say to this is WOW. Wow, wow, wow!!! I substituted the recommended coffee with cacao powder (because I HATE coffee) and it made a fantabulous, chocolately thickshake better than any thickshake I have ever tasted! Email me if you want the recipe! It was that good!

Do you remember the picture of my little vege garden that I had started? Well look at it now:

Look at all that greenery! One of the bok choy's turned to seed straight away (anyone know why? I'm new to this). There is zucchini, lettuce, leek, silverbeet and carrots. We've even been eating some of it! So rewarding! It reminds me of my grandparents in NZ. My grandad grew broccoli as big as your head. Maybe he is my spirit guide, and that's why my veges have grown so well. I hope so, it's a nice thought isn't it?

My plans for today - clean up my messy room! It'll take me all day, too!

Time to get scrubbing,


Friday, December 4, 2009

Sesame Spinach Noodle Pie

This what I made for dinner tonight from, yep you guessed it, 1000 Vegan Recipes! It wasn't bad. We ate it with a fork like we do with normal pasta dishes and it wasn't until just then that I realised its name - pie. I think we would have enjoyed it better with a knife and fork, cutting off small chewable pieces instead of throwing a whole gobful in with a fork and munching. A side salad would have been nice too.

So far it is the only thing I have found that is average. Nice, but not great.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

So much to cook, so little time

The day started with Baby complaining of a sore stomach and asking if she could stay home. She complained that if she went to school and went to the sick bay they would just send her straight back to the class room. She's right. She also was complaining last night too, so I let her stay home. Turns out all she needed was one gigantic turd (!) and she was back to normal. Pity it was too late to send her to school!

I wanted to get a couple of pie tins today so Baby and I jumped on our bikes to head to the shops. I had a letter 'RTS' to post and so we went a different route near the school. Low and behold, who should we see walking towards us was the deputy and principal of her school and Baby yells (and I mean YELLS!) "Hello Mr. ___. Hello Mr. ____!" I could have died! She has NO idea, that child! Too innocent for her own good!

Anyway, the reason I wanted a couple of pie tins was to 'try' a dessert for taking to the vegan christmas dinner we are going to in Frankston on the weekend. More on that soon.

For dinner I really wanted to try polenta. We have only ever had it as a sort of crumb on tofu cutlets. I wanted to make it properly. From '1000 Vegan Recipes' (again, all of tonight's recipes are!) I made the basic polenta recipe, poured it into a loaf tin, threw it in the fridge for a couple of hours and then sliced and fried it up. On top of it I made the Spicy Tomato Ragu (which wasn't spicy because I left out the crushed red pepper), which also consisted of a homemade Marinara Sauce (also from 1000 Vegan Recipes). I had also marked Crunchy Sesame Slaw to make for the kids' lunch tomorrow, so I decided to have that with the polenta.

The Crunchy Sesame Slaw was a HUGE hit!! The kids want me to take this to the christmas dinner and it was so easy I think I will oblige them. The polenta was yum too! I'd like to try it straight into bowls next time and see which texture I prefer.

So the dessert. As I mentioned, I wanted to try whatever dessert I decided to take to the dinner early to make sure it is what I wanted to make. This morning I thought I would like to take a simple apple crumble and I found a recipe (in 1000 Vegan Recipes!!!) for an Apple Tart with Walnut Crust and I couldn't resist! It's a little bit more involved than a basic crumble, but SO worth it!
This all started by me thinking about riding my bike with Baby to The Radical Grocery Store in Brunswick for a can of whipped soya cream to take. It got me thinking about making my own and I'm glad I did. I made Cashew Creme (1000 Vegan Recipes) and it was to die for!! Beats the pants off any dairy whipped cream I have EVER tasted! It looked like this:

It even tasted way better than it looked! OH SO GOOD! I will be definitely taking this to the dinner (especially the creme!!).

So this is what I have decided to take to the Christmas Dinner:

Crunchy Sesame Slaw
Broccoli Quiche
Apple Tart with Walnut Crust
Cashew Creme

I know it seems like a lot but there are 4 of us to feed so it wouldn't be right just turning up with one dish to share. Also, I can't help it - I want to show off my culinary skills! I love to see people enjoying the food I have made!

Got to start tomorrow!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Unofficial Recipe Tester

I've been thinking today (oh yes, it does happen) and I think I have been lying to myself. As silly as this sounds, I don't believe I am a true food blogger. I mean, I NEVER make up any of my own recipes, find out what works and post my successes on here. In fact, I ONLY work from a recipe - someone else's recipe! So, in actual fact, I am just a recipe tester.

I'm ok with this title. Unofficial Recipe Tester. I'm even going to change my 'About me' to reflect this. I have really come to grips with cooking and eating healthy and vegan in the last, say, 10 months (if you remember I posted about how I was a REALLY unhealthy vegan for the  first 12 months). I am sure in time that I will be able to create some wonderful dishes without the help of someone else's recipe as I am slowly learning what goes with what and what doesn't work. The more recipes I 'test' the more I am learning. But until then I am just as happy being an Unofficial Recipe Tester!

Here's a recipe I tested tonight. It was Maple Baked Beans from 1000 Vegan Recipes. Way better than tinned, store bought baked beans. My only criticism would be that it was quite sweet (even for my sweet tooth). It used 1/4C of maple syrup (and we all know how much maple syrup costs on this side of the world!) and I would probably reduce this amount by half and try that. I used cannellini  beans instead of the Great Northern Beans the recipe stated 'cause I learned today, through the wonderful medium the internet, most white beans are interchangeable. I teamed the Maple Baked Beans with some chickpea cutlets. Delish! They are so fast to make it is almost a crime!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Beans Bourguignon

Tonight for dinner we tried yet another recipe from new favourite cookbook (1000 Vegan recipes).

Beans Bourguignon
I made a few changes, well actually just one. It needs red wine and I didn't add it for 2 reasons - 1. I always find that red wine in cooking is quite overpowering, especially because I don't drink it or like it. I thought that the kids would not like it either. 2. I was actually going to put a quarter of what it asked and the rest stock, but I looked at the back of the bottle of red wine that I was given when I bought this house (I think) and it said it was made with eggs and gelatine. I past it straight to Tweenie and got her to tip it down the sink.

Even without the key ingredient, the bourguignon  was delicious. I served it with couscous, mostly because I was unsure what bourguignon is usually served with. Is it pasta? Regardless, it was good and Baby even asked for leftovers for school lunch tomorrow (and Baby is usually the one who doesn't really like stuff - her young palate is still getting used to the mountain of flavours I have been dishing her up).

Another recipe from the book that I made for the kids' school lunches was Sesame Udon Salad with Azuki Beans and Baby Spinach.

So easy and so delish. The people who know me should be so proud of the amount of salads I have been  making AND eating AND enjoying!!! **pats self on back**

Recently, on the World Wide Web, I found a recipe for Sugar-Free Breakfast Cookies. If it is your recipe, please let me know and I will give you the credit for it you deserve.

YM is making them here in this picture, ready for baking. They are so quick and easy and healthy to boot! My girls usually have porridge for breakfast with apple sauce and sultanas so this really is just another way to eat those ingredients. Best eaten soon after cooking.

Sugar-Free Breakfast Cookies
Makes about 18 cookies

2 bananas, mashed
1/4C apple sauce
1/2t vanilla
1/4t cinnamon
1/4t nutmeg
1/3C sultanas/raisins
2C quick oats.

Preheat oven to 180C. Combine all ingredients in the above order. Place tablespoon mounds on a cookie tray (they don't spread so you can put them pretty close). Cook for approximately 15 minutes.

I give my kids a piece of toast or two with about 4 cookies (they NEVER get toast for breakfast - I don't believe it fills them up for school enough- so they LOVE this breakfast!).

18 days until Popeye is home!